Overcoming Challenges, Cast Preps For ‘Grease’

Show Must Go On

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Elyse Bredfeldt

The cast of “Grease” rehearses choreography for the show. Many hours of practice were put in at rehearsals. “We’re working together as a team really well and we’re all helping each other,” senior Katie Holloway said. 

     Featuring popular songs from the movie, classic characters and dance numbers, choir and theater will be presenting “Grease” the musical. The school’s production opens Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. Prior to opening night, the cast put in work to refine their performance. 

     Lines, songs and choreography all required time and effort to learn. Senior Claire Swiss said memorization and the ability to keep up with the dance moves were what the cast needed to improve upon. 

    “We’re not off-script yet, which we probably should be, and the second act is barely put together,” Swiss said.

     Senior Katie Holloway acknowledged that there was still work to do but felt positive about the progress that had been made.

     “We’re getting there,” Holloway said. “It’s hard with a lot of people and with not being able to have rehearsals all together, but we’re getting there.” 

     As Swiss and Holloway mentioned, theater has faced some challenges with the production of “Grease,” specifically scheduling issues. Rehearsals were difficult to schedule because some of the cast was involved in other activities. 

Practicing a scene, seniors Claire Swiss, Bella Dorrington, Shelbie Caldwell and Katie Holloway rehearse their lines. (Elyse Bredfeldt)

   Senior Danny McGurn was involved in the production but played football as well. He was unable to attend many of the rehearsals after school during the season, so he had to find ways to include rehearsals in his schedule, as his participation was required for his Leadership class. His rehearsals were especially important because he plays one of the lead roles, Kenickie.  

     “Since I’m in football, I’ve been missing a lot of the practices, but I’ve been working during Falcon Time and before school,” McGurn said. 

      Besides involvement in different activities, some of the cast also found the schedule difficult because they didn’t plan on performing in the show originally. Students in Leadership class were required to perform in the show as an assignment. 

   “My Leadership students are some of the busiest, most involved kids in the entire school. There definitely has been some scheduling issues trying to get them to practices,” Leadership teacher Andrea Holmes said.

      However, despite challenges, some Leadership students had a positive perspective of this experience. 

     “I think it’s a good thing,” McGurn said. “Leadership is here to help the school out, and by being in this musical, I think that we can show that anyone can get involved in whatever they want.”

      Holmes said her class had a great attitude about their assigned theater participation. One student was hesitant about joining at first, but the excitement of his classmates changed his mind, according to Holmes. 

     “They were over-the-moon excited. It was really cool. They were clapping and jumping up and down. They’re super excited to do something different and out of the ordinary,” Holmes said. 

     Despite the time constraints and difficulty with practice schedules, the cast put in time and effort.  

     “The strengths of this cast are that they are willing to put in the time to make it the best that they can make it,” theater teacher Danielle Trebus said. 

      Some students were pushed out of their comfort zone but ultimately felt supported by their cast mates. 

     “The cast is great,” McGurn said. “I didn’t know a lot of these guys, but our paths have crossed before. When I came in, I was kind of worried that they might think I’m not competent because I’m a football player or because I’m not in theater. But they welcomed me and helped me out right away.”

    Reflecting on all of the work put in, cast members shared what they believe audiences would love about the school’s production of “Grease.” 

     Swiss said audiences would love the songs and the way the show was put together. Holloway said it was a fun show, and audiences would love the production for that reason. McGurn said the choreography and acting would be what the audience would appreciate about the theater’s production of the 1978 film. 

     Audiences can attend this show Nov. 18, 19 or 20 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Tickets will be $5 at the door or on MyPaymentsPlus.